Ready for the perfect easy mandarin orange jello salad with sherbet? Ideal for barbecues, parties, and all crowds. Simple 4 ingredients = party food everyone loves!
Ready for a dessert that tastes like a creamsicle? Try the best old-fashioned mandarin orange jello salad with sherbet. Perfect for barbecues, family reunions, and holiday parties. Jello salad is not just Grandma’s dessert anymore.
If you have been to a potluck and have not seen a jello salad somewhere in the spread, you aren’t hanging out with the right crowd. The beautiful jiggly dessert beckons and quivers with every slice taken.
This orange sherbet jello salad recipe is everything you want in a sweet summer dessert. Citrusy, summery flavors, cool, tangy sherbet, and light, refreshing ingredients.
Plus, it’s super simple to make and won’t turn your kitchen into a sweltering sauna. It also contains the word “salad,” so feel free to forget your diet plans while enjoying this treat.
This fun, fruity recipe serves up to 12 people. So it’s perfect for outdoor barbecues, dinner parties, or entertaining children. This is a mandarin orange jello salad without cottage cheese.
You will also find that it’s a visually stunning dessert that will impress every crowd. It’s like an orange jello Bundt cake. Each slice offers a fruity jiggly layer of jello on top of a creamy orange layer.
The sherbet lightens the jello, and each bite is positively delicious. Ready to show off a picturesque, perfect-for-summer dessert? Let’s get started!
For this recipe, you’ll only need a few simple ingredients. Substitutions can be found below.
- Mandarin Oranges: One 10.5 oz. can, with the mandarin orange juice
- Orange Jello Packet: One 6-ounce packet or two 3-ounce bags.
- 1 Pint Orange Sherbet or Mandarin Orange Sorbet: 1 pint = 2 cups
- Cool Whip: 8 ounces thawed OR 2 cups of sweetened whipped cream
The equipment needed for this recipe includes these easy tools:
- A few decently sized mixing bowls
- A saucepan for boiling liquid
- 10-cup Bundt pan for the mandarin orange jello mold
- Nonstick cooking spray to ensure that the orange jello salad does not stick to the pan
- Electric mixer with a wire whip to create a creamy, fluffy layer for the jello sherbet Cool Whip recipe
- Liquid measuring cup for making the mandarin jello
Making jello is a fairly simple process. But this recipe for jello salad with mandarin oranges is even easier with a few pro tips from someone who’s got this recipe down pat.
- DO NOT forget to spray your Bundt pan with cooking spray! Thoroughly coat the inside of your pan with nonstick spray. Otherwise, you risk pieces of the jello sticking to the pan and ruining the pristine appearance of this artful dessert.
- Refrigerate your jello completely. Patience is a virtue. And though you might be in a rush, you’ve got to let this jello firm up completely. Otherwise, it will fall apart when you serve it.
- Use the right knife to slice and serve this jello Cool Whip salad. A serrated knife will leave a weird pattern and might even crumble the jello slightly. A long, sharp knife is best. You can even dip the knife in warm water for a second before slicing the chilled dessert.
- Don’t slice the dessert too soon. Try to cut your servings as you go. This prevents the jello sherbet salad from getting melty.
- Take the pint of orange sherbet out of the freezer. It will soften and start to melt as you do the rest of the prep work.
- Pop open the can of mandarin oranges and drain them. But make sure you reserve the liquid. Set the oranges aside.
- Pour the reserved orange juice into a liquid measuring cup. Add water until you have 2 cups. Boil the liquid.
- Dump the orange jello packet into a large bowl.
- Pour the 2 cups boiling water into the bowl and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
- Pour one cup of the dissolved jello into a separate bowl and set it aside to cool. Transfer the rest of the dissolved gelatin into a separate mixing bowl.
- Look at the sherbet. Is it soft and melting? If so, stir it into the hot jello to dissolve. If it still seems cold and firm, scoop 2 cups of sherbet into a bowl and microwave until it is almost melted.
Then stir the melted sherbet into the rest of your dissolved jello. Stir until everything is melted and combined.
Chill and Compose the Jello
- Cover both bowls of jello and pop ‘em into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes, or until the mixtures have the consistency of egg whites.
- This part is crucial! Spray the Bundt pan with cooking spray. Really spray it down. Make sure to get all the curves and indentations, including the center column.
The whole thing will get ruined if your mandarin jello salad sticks to your pan.
- Remove the jello/sherbet mixture from the fridge after it has chilled. Remember those drained mandarin oranges? Stir them into the jello.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the sprayed Bundt pan. Cover the pan and refrigerate for another 20 minutes. You want the jello to firm up so the next layer won’t sink into the first layer.
- Remove the one cup of plain jello mixture from the fridge. Using an electric mixer with a wire whip, whip the jello mixture for about 2 minutes, or until it has increased in volume and is frothy.
- Whip in the Cool Whip or whipped cream until the two ingredients are combined. There should be no white streaks in the mixture when you’re done. Cool Whip adds a uniquely creamy texture to the bottom layer in this mandarin orange sherbet jello salad.
- After the mandarin orange jello is more solid, pour the whipped cream jello mixture on top to create two layers. Smooth out the top layer so it’s even.
- Cover the orange sherbet jello and refrigerate it for 3 to 4 hours, or until set. Hold your anticipation!
Unmold, Garnish, and Serve
- To remove the jello from the mold, remove it from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap. Use a thin spatula or knife and gently move it around the edges of the salad to loosen it from the sides of the pan.
Fill the sink with about 2 inches of warm water OR find a container big enough to hold the Bundt pan and fill that with 2 inches of warm water. Soak the Bundt pan in the warm water for about 1 minute.
This allows the mandarin orange salad to gently loosen from the pan. When you remove the pan from the water, dry the pan off. Otherwise, water may drop onto the jello salad when it comes out of the pan.
- Get ready to invert the jello by placing a serving plate on top of the Bundt pan, on its “open” side. Keep a firm grip and flip the plate and pan over together. Gently wiggle the Bundt pan off the jello salad, and voila!
Note: If the jello does not easily come out of the pan, return the pan to the warm water and soak for another minute. Dry the pan off and try inverting it again. Be patient. The jello mold will come out if you have adequately sprayed the Bundt pan.
- Garnish your lovely old-fashioned mandarin orange salad with fresh orange slices, pomegranate seeds, or more whipped cream, if desired. Make it what you want!
- Using a cake knife, gently slice and serve chilled.
Missing an ingredient? Prefer certain flavors over others? Want to experiment? No worries! This recipe can be easily modified. Below are some substitution suggestions.
- Sherbet. If you want to deviate from the orange-y theme, you can easily substitute pineapple sherbet in place of orange sherbet. This will make for a mandarin orange jello salad with a tropical flavor.
Of course, you can get super creative and go a totally alternative route, choosing lemon or strawberry-flavored sherbet.
- Cool Whip. If you can’t find Cool Whip in stores, an extra-creamy whipped cream can be substituted, but you’ll need two full cups when whipped. If you want a dairy-free option, try coconut cream.
- Mandarin Oranges. Instead of a mandarin orange sherbet recipe, add a can of sliced mango as a fruity alternative. Or modify this mandarin orange jello salad recipe to have both mango and mandarin oranges!
Ready to get innovative with your substitutions? There are many yummy variations of orange jello with mandarin oranges. Here are a few fun ideas:
- Strawberry jello with sherbet. Instead of an orange sherbet salad, use strawberry-flavored jello and/or sherbet. Make it strawberry-banana flavored with strawberry-banana jello and banana slices.
- Blueberry jello sherbet salad. Use blackberry or blueberry jello and a berry-flavored sherbet. This is gorgeous with berry garnishes.
- Key-lime sherbet jello salad. Get citrusy with lime-flavored jello and sherbet.
- Chocolate-covered cherry jello salad. Use cherry or black cherry-flavored jello and chocolate sherbet for a more indulgent variation.
Jello will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least a week. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t freeze it to make it last longer. When jello is frozen, its consistency changes. It won’t be the jelly-like substance you want.
While jello won’t necessarily “melt” like ice cream would, with too much heat this food loses its form. If you leave it outside on a hot day for too long, this jello salad could start to break down and lose its shape. I don’t recommend keeping it in the heat for too long.
Even if you leave jello out at room temperature, it may start to disfigure after a while. Plus, this jello recipe's sugars and other ingredients could attract bugs or harmful bacteria.
Do not leave jello out of the fridge for more than an hour or two. The FDA is pretty clear on the two-hour rule. (Refrigerate perishable food within two hours.)
How to Store Leftovers
Storing leftovers (if you even have them!) for this jello salad is as easy as pie. Rather than leaving the leftover portion of the mold on a plate, cover the jello in plastic wrap and place it in an air-tight container.
Even better, store this jello cake in individual slices for easy re-serving.
Pop your container into the refrigerator, and it should be good for 7 to 10 days. It has likely gone bad if you notice the orange mandarin jello salad separating or getting liquidy or moldy.
How Early Can You Make Jello Salad?
Mandarin orange sherbet jello salad takes about five hours to make (including refrigeration time). Be sure to plan ahead.
If you are serving the dish at a party or event, make the salad up to two days in advance. Since the dish is served chilled, make it early and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
What to Serve with Mandarin Orange Jello Salad with Sorbet
- Turkey Sliders. Making a small jello salad for your weeknight family dinner? Serve it with melty baked turkey sliders and a green chopped salad.
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Make the tastiest chicken salad sandwich for a crowd. Moist chicken, crunchy celery, and dill pickle relish dressed with Miracle Whip and Dijon mustard.
You can serve it on a variety of breads. Or get some ideas for non-bread ideas too.
Mandarin Orange Jello Salad with Sherbet
- 1 large 6 oz. package of orange jello OR 2 (3 oz.) packages
- 1 10.5 oz. can of mandarin oranges with juice
- 1 pint of orange sherbet
- 1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip
- REMOVE the pint of orange sherbet from the freezer. Set it aside as you prep the other ingredients so it can soften and start to melt.
- OPEN the can of mandarin oranges and drain them, reserving the liquid. Set the
- POUR the reserved liquid into a liquid measuring cup and add enough water to equal 2 cups.
- BOIL the liquid.
- DUMP the orange jello packet into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water/juice into the bowl with the orange jello. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
- POUR one cup of the dissolved jello into a bowl. Set aside to cool. Pour the rest of the gelatin into a separate mixing bowl.
- MELT the orange sherbet into the mixing bowl with the dissolved jello. Stir until it is all melted and combined. (If the sherbet is hard, see note #1.)
- COVER both bowls of jello and chill them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the mixtures have the consistency of egg whites.
- SPRAY the cake Bundt pan with cooking spray. Make sure to get all the curves and indentations covered, including the center column.
- REMOVE the jello/sherbet mixture from the fridge. Stir in the reserved mandarin oranges.
- POUR the mixture evenly into the sprayed Bundt pan. Cover and refrigerate for another 15 to 20 minutes. The jello needs to set enough so that the second layer does not merge into the jello layer.
- TAKE the plain jello mixture from the fridge. Using an electric mixer with a wire whip attachment, whip the jello mixture for about 2 minutes, or until it has increased in volume and is frothy.
- WHIP in the Cool Whip until just combined. No white streaks should remain.
- SMOOTH the whipped cream jello mixture on top of the first jello layer in the Bundt pan. Smooth the creamy jello flat.
- COVER and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or until set.
- TO REMOVE the jello from the mold, take it from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap. Use a small, thin spatula and run it around the edges of the Bundt pan to release the jello from the sides.
- FILL the sink with 2 inches of warm water OR find a container the bundt pan can fit inside and fill it with 2 inches of warm water. Soak the Bundt pan in the warm water for one minute. This allows the jello mandarin orange salad to gently loosen from the bottom of the pan. When you remove the pan from the water, dry the pan off. Otherwise, water may drop onto the jello salad when it comes out of the pan. (See Note #2.)
- INVERT the jello by placing a serving plate on top of the Bundt pan on its “open” side. Keep a firm grip on the plate and pan. Flip the plate and pan over together. Gently wiggle the Bundt pan off the jello salad. (If the jello isn't coming out of the pan, see Note #3.)
- GARNISH with orange slices, pomegranate seeds, or more whipped cream, if desired.
- GENTLY SLICE with a cake knife and serve chilled.
Looking for More Jello Salad Recipes?
- Cranberry Raspberry Jello without Pineapple. Creamy cranberry raspberry jello salad recipe with cream cheese, cranberries, raspberries, marshmallows, and Cool Whip. You won’t find pineapple in this salad. Perfect for a crowd, you can double the recipe for potlucks and parties.
- Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe with Cool Whip. Ready for more orange jello salad recipes? Try this is a tossed jello salad with Cool Whip, oranges, and cottage cheese. Another popular party food.